Health Planning

Meal Planning on Sunday

Sunday is the time to prepare for a busy week. One of the biggest favors you can do yourself is to plan what food you & your family are going to eat ahead of time so you don’t have to use those scarce and valuable brain calories during the week.

But what does that look like? Well, it surely doesn’t have to be complicated. Grab a pen, a piece of paper or use our free printable and let’s go!

1. Plan

First, let’s plan your week of dinners. Go ahead and look at your schedule. Note the days you might not be home, the days you’ll have more or less time to prepare food and so forth. Plug in those easy meals or meals that you’re eating elsewhere first. Next, figure out all your dinners. Plan to cook extra in order to meal prep lunches.

Next up, figure out your lunches. Lunches can often come straight from dinner or meal prep that happens alongside Sunday dinner.

Finally, you’ll figure out your breakfast and snacks.


  1. If you’re trying to lose weight, plan your carbs and heavier meals earlier in the day. If at all possible, let’s only put protein & veggies down the gullet for dinner.
  2. Be realistic when planning. Don’t overdo it. Don’t try to be a hero. Stick to what you & your family are used to and what’s easy and stretch yourself just a little. That might mean taming a few recipes to be a little more healthy or it might mean trying one new recipe a week.

2. Purchase

When you’ve got all your meals and snacks planned, figure out what ingredients you need to shop for to make that happen. You can do this as you go or you can do it once you’ve brain dumped all the ideas.


  1. As you get better at this, you should be able to have a staple shopping list that you always purchase (weekly or monthly) that makes the quick trips easier and more efficient.
  2. Try pick up or delivery as an option when shopping. It saves you time and usually money by avoiding extra spending. You’re also forced to plan if you do pick up!

3. Prep

Okay, now that you’ve got a plan and you’ve got your shopping list, you’ll figure out what you can prep ahead of time to make your food life easier during the week.

This part can seem overwhelming so let’s chunk it down. You can choose to meal prep just one or two types of things for the week. You might also choose to only meal prep lunch and cook dinner. You’ll find your family’s sweet spot to meal prepping. Just know it does not have to mean you meal prep 100% of your meals and spend eight hours in the kitchen on Sunday!


  1. Consider stacking your meal prep time with your grocery time. You’re already spending time putting stuff away, so it saves time now to prepare it in such a way that it’s ready for the week. That may mean rinsing and chopping fruits and veggies, it might mean boiling or grilling proteins and it might mean cooking rice or quinoa.
  2. Consider buffet style meal prep if prepping meals stresses you out. Yes, your fridge can offer you a buffet of healthy ingredients, ready to mixed and mingled into healthy meals. Ideas for buffet style:
    1. Salad bar.
      • Chop: lettuce, spinach, kale, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, cabbage, peppers
      • Cook: hard boiled eggs, protein
      • Purchase: olives, artichokes, avocados, dressing, nuts, seeds
    2. Proteins.
      • Chicken
      • Turkey meatballs or ground turkey
      • Eggs
      • Etc
    3. Carbs.
      • Sweet potatoes
      • Quinoa
      • Brown Rice
      • Rolled / Steel cut oats

Remember, planning in this way is a form of self-care. Yes, you’re taking care of yourself by deciding ahead of time and relieving yourself of needing to do so during the busy week. The special human ability to plan is a gift, so let’s use it.


Hey, if you need help with this, you’re in luck. We have an EASY PEASY lunch meal planning worksheet just for you. It’s not fancy, it’s not complicated. It’s REALLY simple and easy and fast and amazing. Download it now!

PS: If any of this resonated with you, we’d love to work with you 1-on-1. We teach our clients how to build a body they love and change habits slowly to match their goals. In a world with fake quick fixes, we help them adapt a lifestyle that they’ll want to keep. If that resonates with you, please get in touch with the form below!

Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre, Florida that focuses on Fitness, Family & Finance. We help our clients create the discipline & habits they need to strip off what’s holding them back from living the life God created them to live. We work with clients in 1-on-1 sessions in person and virtually as well as in Small Groups in Personal Training sessions, workshops and other events. We’re on a mission to inject hope and empower our community one client at a time. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.


Eating out is ruining your weight loss progress

So, this topic might seem obvious, but stick with us! So many people are trying to balance fun & life with their health & weight loss goals. So, eating out is a pretty common thing these days. We get it. But, we want to offer that it’s really tripping up your progress. More than you understand. And, losing weight is hard enough. We 100% do not want to make it harder or slower!

So we’re going to tell you why it’s messing you up. We love to know the why and we think you do too. If your brain understands it a little more, it might be easier to make some changes, right? Then we’ll talk about how…how, in this eating-out-loving-culture we live in, how can you change this habit? 

Let’s dive in.

First of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way:

1. Restaurant food is not good for you.

Preservatives, sodium, gluten, dairy and all the other things you’d be limiting otherwise are happening when you’re eating out. These things obviously stall your progress by causing bloat and inflammation.

The calories & portions at restaurants are ridiculous, as you know. 

2. Eating out is an old, bad habit that triggers more old, bad habits. 

When you’re trying to eat healthy, you’re doing something new. It’s not easy! When you go out to eat, the “old” you rears up, and the old habits, routines, excuses, thoughts will show up. So, you’re more likely to say things like, “It’s okay, just this once, just one more bite, I deserve this, I’ll restart tomorrow” or whatever old thought pattern you’ve got. You most likely have a history of indulgence at a restaurant, so it’s going to be much harder to break that habit when you’re just getting started. Restaurant food is so hard to say no to and you most likely have a habit of not saying no most of your life.

3. Eating out means you haven’t solved your food problems. 

What we mean by that is that if you’re eating out often, you’re probably not planning your food, either weekly or daily. That means that you’re still finding yourself too busy to make your health a priority. That needs to be solved.

You’re also not being intentional about what food you’re putting in your body if you’re eating out often. That needs to change as well. 

If you’re eating out a lot, you might still be eating in response to your emotions like feeling stressed, upset, busy, sad, mad or what have you.

Another food problem we try to solve is to make it so that food is not the best part of your day, that it’s not the thing you’re looking forward to in order to find pleasure, relaxation, fun or relief from your day. If you’re still eating out a lot, chances are you haven’t solved that food problem.

The sooner we solve these problems, the sooner you hit your goal. So, stalling is only going to make it take longer.

4. Eating out gets you off track.

The final problem with eating out is that it gets you off track. You. might’ve been doing really well for two days and then you found yourself downing a cheeseburger and fries. While that’s not the worst thing that could ever happen (remember, it only takes one meal to get back on track), we can often make it seem like the end of the world. Instead of just getting back on track, so many times when we “mess up” once, we throw the baby out with the bathwater. We completely abandon our plan and progress saying things like: “Oh well, I might as well give up now,” or “I’ll just start over next week.” You might feel bad or see the scale and get mad at yourself. Then you give up.

All of these things are tough to overcome when you’ve already been using most of your energy to stay on your plan. Again, we don’t want to add anything that makes losing weight or eating well harder. Eating out is basically setting yourself up to stumble or at least to have to try REALLY hard not to stumble.

So, are you convinced that eating out is stalling your progress? Great. Now, let’s brainstorm some ways to change!

1. Obviously, meal planning & prepping is the easiest way to avoid eating out.

Most of the time you eat out because you have no brain calories at meal time. So, it’s “easier” to hit the drive through or let someone serve you at a restaurant. We get that. And we want you to have that same easy, no-decision-making process but with your own goal-hitting food plan. Do your busy, stressed out self a favor, and make the plan ahead of time. Then, all you have to do is stick to it. This is REAL self-care. This is truly taking care of yourself.

Meal planning needs to be a habit, something you do every weekend but also every day. 

Don’t make it boring and bland. Get creative about how to make your favorite restaurant meals at home, but healthier!

2. Look behind the curtain.

Think long and hard about why you’re eating out. How can you get those benefits without eating out?

Is it for social hour? We’ll talk about that in a moment.

Is it to avoid being at home because your home and/or kitchen is a mess?

Is it to avoid picky eaters?

Whatever the reason is, let’s get honest and start really working on that issue instead. Remember, dealing with these things is what is going to make you life-long successful and, truly, more content & happy in life.

3. Change the game.

A lot of time our social life is wrapped around eating out. So, let’s change that game. Let’s be the example. Ask your friends and family if they’d like to meet for a walk, bike ride or something active. Maybe a game night. The good company, the laughs, the stories–that’s the real goal. Food doesn’t need to be involved.

4. Schedule only once a week.

We’d prefer once a month while you’re working on your goals, but we know that might not be realistic. So, let’s plan it on purpose, once a week. We call this joy eating. Let your family know, everyone can learn to look forward to it as the treat it really is. This will help your brain as well since it knows it always has some fun to look forward to.

5. Portion / box immediately. 

One strategy is to immediately box or portion half of your meal. So many times we are full well before we finish eating but we keep going because it’s right there in front of our face! Trick the brain by boxing it up first. Then you’ll feel really good because you cleaned your plate but it won’t have been all of those calories. Bonus: you’ve now meal prepped for another meal. 😉

Okay. So we decided that losing weight and getting healthy is hard all on its own. Let’s not make it harder or slower by eating out so much.

This isn’t forever, this is for right now. Remember, if you change nothing, nothing changes. So, give yourself a chance at real progress! 

Hey, if you need help with this, you’re in luck. We have a little brainstorming worksheet FREE for you. Use your biggest weapon to help you: your brain. Answer the questions, be real & honest with yourself. This workbook will help you think through this entire concept. And thinking through it will help you stick to your guns.